This pink oyster mushroom recipe is one of those magic tools in any plant-based toolbox. Use the meaty, chewy, crispy, umami-packed roasted mushrooms for taco fillings, stuff it between burger buns, add it to stir-fries, or simply snack away.
I adore pink oyster mushrooms because of that gorgeous pink hue. And the aniseed and cinnamon flavour profile of the Chinese five-spice pairs perfectly with oyster mushrooms. But this recipe is super flexible. Use any variety of mushrooms you prefer and experiment with the seasoning mix.
Though let’s be real for a moment – it’s brown food. But while it’s brown, it’s also utterly delicious. A bowl of roasted oyster mushrooms should be the emblem of umami-packed brown food at its finest.
I dare you to try a single roasted oyster mushroom and not go back for more.
Types of oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms grow naturally on and near trees in sub-tropical climates. Luckily, they are also one of the most common cultivated mushrooms and are available in grocery stores year-round.
The mushrooms have broad, thin, fan-shaped caps (or oyster-shaped hence the name) with gills lining the underside.
Different types of oyster mushrooms have variations in appearance and taste. But, overall, they are mild and woodsy with a slight aniseed taste and delicate flesh.
The most common variety of oyster mushrooms is pearl oyster mushrooms.
Blue oyster mushrooms have a very similar taste. They’re also not a bright blue colour as you might expect. Instead, they are grey with a slight blueish hue.
Golden oysters (or yellow oyster mushrooms) are a vibrant yellow colour. They’re also more complex tasting than the mild pearl oysters or white oyster mushrooms.
And finally, the pink oyster mushroom (Pleurotus djamor) is similar in appearance, with its fragile gills and flat cap. But, as the name suggests, it is a beautiful pink hue that varies from hot pink to salmon.
Ingredients & substitutes
Oyster mushrooms are especially popular in Chinese cuisine. And I love to pair them with classic Chinese flavours. But this pink oyster mushroom recipe is very flexible.
Can I substitute pink oyster mushrooms?
You can substitute pearl, blue, golden or pink oyster mushrooms for the pink oyster mushrooms without making any recipe adjustments – use whichever kind your local grocery store has in stock.
I use pink oysters in this roasted mushroom recipe simply because I cannot resist them at the farmers’ market. The pink colour of the fresh mushrooms draws me in, even though the vibrant colour fades during cooking.
If you wish to use sliced shiitake or king oyster mushrooms (or whole white button mushrooms), you may need to adjust the cooking time. Follow the recipe instructions, but start checking for doneness after 15 minutes.
Mushroom marinade ingredients
This marinade is a sweet and savoury mix of ingredients that pairs perfectly with oyster mushrooms. But you can let your imagination run wild. Here are a few substitutes and alternatives to get you going.
- Garlic: I always have fresh garlic cloves in the pantry. If you don’t, substitute the clove of garlic with half a teaspoon of dried garlic powder.
- Soy sauce: Use all-purpose or light soy sauce. Or replace it with tamari or coconut aminos for a gluten-free alternative. You can also use sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) and omit the maple syrup.
- Maple syrup: I prefer maple syrup for its rich, smoky flavour. But you can use brown rice syrup or your favourite sweet syrup. Or try hot honey for a spicy twist.
- Olive oil: Replace the olive oil with any neutral cooking oil.
- Sesame oil: Toasted sesame oil adds a rich, nutty flavour. But you can swap it for more olive oil if you don’t have any.
- Chinese five-spice: This is where you can really influence the taste. Try ground cumin with roasted oyster mushrooms for tacos. Or make your own spice mix with any of these Chinese five-spice substitutes.
- Chilli flakes (optional): I use mild Korean chilli flakes (gochugaru), but smoked Chipotle flakes will work well if you substitute the Chinese five-spice with cumin. Don’t use more than half a teaspoon if you choose a very strong chilli powder, like Cayenne pepper.
How to make roasted oyster mushrooms
Don’t leave your oyster mushrooms in water – not even when you’re cleaning them. They absorb moisture in no time. Wipe off dirt with a paper towel. And use a damp paper towel for extra dirty mushrooms.
Use a sharp knife to cut off any tough ends of the mushroom stems.
Roughly tear large mushrooms and leave smaller mushrooms whole. Then add the mushrooms to a large bowl.
Mix your marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle the marinade over the mushrooms and use your hands to gently mix it.
Spread the pink mushrooms mix onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast them in a preheated fan-oven at 400 ºF (200 ºC) for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
The small pieces turn into dark crunchy bits, and larger mushrooms are meaty and chewy. You can remove them from the oven sooner if you prefer softer mushrooms.
Oven roasting is a great way to cook large batches of oyster mushrooms at a time. But if you double the oyster mushrooms recipe, it is best to split them over two baking sheets and roast for 20 minutes. Then combine the mushrooms from both trays and cook for another 8 minutes.
Don’t want to turn on the oven?
Roasting and grilling will retain more texture. Sautéing will result in softer mushrooms. And stir-frying is right in the middle.
Mix the marinade ingredients, except for the olive oil, and coat the mushrooms in the marinade.
To sauté the oyster mushrooms
Preheat a frying pan over medium-high heat, then add the two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the marinated mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft and golden brown. They won’t have the same meaty texture as roasted oyster mushrooms.
To stir-fry the oyster mushrooms
Preheat a wok or a heavy skillet over high heat. Add the oil to the hot pan. Once the oil shimmers, carefully add the marinated oyster mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes – stirring frequently – until the mushrooms are soft and the edges crisp.
Depending on the size of your frying pan, you may need to saute or stir-fry the mushrooms in two batches.
How to store oyster mushrooms?
Oyster mushrooms are delicate and spongelike. They will absorb any excess moisture. Keep the fresh mushrooms in a loose paper bag in the fridge for up to three days.
Store the roasted oyster mushrooms in an airtight container in the fridge for three days. Or you can freeze them for up to three months, though they won’t stay as crispy.
How to serve roasted oyster mushrooms
I first came across oven-roasted oyster mushrooms in Flavour by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. The book has a fantastic recipe for “oyster mushroom tacos with all (or some of) the trimmings”. This pink oyster mushroom recipe is an adaptation of the tasty mushrooms from Flavour.
Serve these roasted oyster mushrooms in tacos alongside zesty salsa and creamy guacamole for a vegan feast.
But they are not reserved for vegan mushroom tacos only:
- Serve them as a side dish, sprinkled with finely sliced green onions. Add a splash of black vinegar or a squeeze of lime juice.
- Shove roasted oyster mushrooms into a burger bun and drizzle generously with hoisin sauce for an easy meat-free burger alternative.
- Add the roasted oyster mushrooms to noodles and stir-fries.
- Use them in grain bowls or buddha bowls.
- Spoon roasted mushrooms onto toasted ciabatta or crostini for easy mushroom bruschetta.
Or do as I do, and bake them until extra crispy for snack time. They’re sweet, savoury and meaty, like vegan mushroom jerky.
- ¾ pound pink oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushroom marinade
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F fan.
- Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a paper towel. Then use a sharp knife to remove any tough pieces of stem. Roughly tear large mushrooms and keep small mushrooms whole.
- Mix the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Then, drizzle it over the mushrooms and use your hands to coat the mushrooms in the marinade.
- Transfer the pink mushroom mix to a parchment-lined baking tray that fits the mushrooms snugly. Spread the mushrooms out in an even layer and roast for 15 minutes. Stir the mushrooms and return them to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes – or until they are golden brown and slightly crispy.
- This recipe is incredibly versatile. See the blog post ingredient section for substitute ideas, or try the stovetop instructions if you are in no mood to turn the oven on.
- If you want to double the recipe, use two baking trays for the first 20 minutes, and combine the mushrooms from both trays for another 8 minutes.
- Replace the Chinese five-spice with ground cumin for a Mexican flavour profile – this is perfect for roasted oyster mushroom tacos. Or find the best substitutes for Chinese five-spice.